Dominic Raab says 250 people in hospital with Omicron - then revises figure to 10

By Hiyah Zaidi
Tuesday, 14th December 2021, 1:24 pm
Updated Tuesday, 14th December 2021, 1:25 pm
In evidence presented to MPs, a whistleblower has said then Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab ‘failed to grasp the situation' in Afghanistan (image: Getty Images)
In evidence presented to MPs, a whistleblower has said then Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab ‘failed to grasp the situation' in Afghanistan (image: Getty Images)

Dominic Raab appeared to be confused over the number of people who had been hospitalised with Omicron - coming up with different figures in three interviews.

The Justice Secretary initially told Sky News that 250 people had been hospitalised with the variant.

However, he later revised that figure down to nine during an interview with BBC Breakfast.

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When challenged about the numbers on Good Morning Britain, he then said that 10 people were in hospital with the variant.

Official figures show that there are 10 people currently in hospital with Omicron.

Officials said that Mr Raab had “misspoke” when getting his figures wrong.

What happened? 

Kate McCann, who is the political correspondent for Sky News, said “I’m sure people will be pleased to hear that it’s nowhere near as high as 250. We understand that Dominic Raan misunderstood or misheard the question.

“Of course 250 would be incredibly high - we know that’s the worry, the pressure on the NHS is the concern for the Government and that’s why we’re talking about the potential for new restrictions and of course the votes today” she added.

“Clearly, it’s a significant error and there will be people out there who would have heard that and thought ‘wow that seems much higher than I thought it was going to be’’’.

Raab later accused a broadcaster of “ranting” after being challenged on the confusion on the number of Omicron hospital admissions.

He told Adil Ray, the presenter of ITV’s Good Morning Britain: “First of all, I misheard one of the questions around whether it was hospitalisations of Omicron-related patients or more generally, but the figures are: one death from Omicron, 10 in hospital and I can tell you the latest daily hospitalisations run at 900.”

Mr Raab said to Sky News earlier that if the rate of transmission continues: “We will see those numbers increase very dramatically.

“A proportion of those hospitalised will possibly die or have a very serious suffering [due to Omicron]”, he warned.

He also said there was currently “no plans” for more restrictions beyond Plan B.

Those measures are being voted on by MPs tonight (14 December) with dozens of Tory MPs set to rebel against the Government.

However, the restrictions are all-but-certain to pass with Labour supporting the measures.

A version of this article originally appeared on NationalWorld.com